A dreary Midwest wind blew original indie sadboi Jeff Tweedy to New York on Wednesday for a spot on Late Night with Seth Meyers. In addition to turning in a performance of “Tired of Taking it Out On You” with Wilco, the band’s frontman tried to settle up a debut with The 8G Band drummer Fred Armisen.
Sauntering onstage in a cheerful getup of black and charcoal, the mood quickly soured as Meyers brought up Tweedy and Armisen’s shared history. It turns out, Armisen began his path to Saturday Night Live stardom by answering phones at Chicago’s Lounge Ax, a rock club owned by Tweedy’s wife, Susan Miller Tweedy. In appreciation of setting him out on the road to success, Armisen promised in what Tweedy called a “legal document” that he would give Susan 50% of his earnings, which he later bumped up to 75%. Armisen did not contest the facts of the case, and Tweedy even came armed with the legal document itself—a testimonial video of Fred Armisen—as well as his lawyer.
“This is a legal document without jokes, without irony, or sarcasm. This is not an exaggeration,” Armisen says in a cell phone video. “I, from now on, owe Susan Miller 75% of my income. It used to be 50%, it’s up to 75% because retroactively going back to the amount I owed her before, I need to add to that. … If you are a lawyer looking at this, there is no irony in my face or any winking. I owe this money. By the way, immediately.”
After presenting his smoking gun, Tweedy also reminisced on how Armisen used to do stand-up opening for Wilco back in the day. It turns out, Armisen would often come onstage dressed as Tweedy in his hat with a guitar and sullenly tell the crowd “Hey, I’m Jeff Tweedy.”
“And the sad part is I think a lot of people really thought it was me,” Tweedy recalled. “He’s a pretty good mimic.”
Tweedy also came armed with an anecdote about a mysterious free burrito card from Chipotle that showed up at his house one day, “It never got easier using it, ’cause every person you’d hand it to at the register would go ‘What the f–k is this?'” Invariably, the person behind the counter would scan it and have the same reaction when it came up for a 100% celebrity discount.
The story goes on, however, because those free burritos were followed by an awkward period of Jeff Tweedy sitting at Chipotle while a staff of 20-somethings attempt to figure out who he is and why he’s famous enough to warrant unlimited free burritos. Adding insult to injury, one of the top results when Googling Jeff Tweedy is footage from a concert he did covering Black Eyed Peas songs for reasons convoluted and arbitrary.
“The card stopped working too, by the way,” Tweedy relented. “That was awkward.”
Across the studio, Wilco turned in a performance of “Tired of Taking it Out On You”. The beleaguered track comes from Wilco’s double country LP, Cruel Country, released last year and features Nels Cline on lap steel guitar for some authentic twang.
Watch Jeff Tweedy confront Fred Armisen and perform with Wilco on Seth Meyers.
Jeff Tweedy Says Fred Armisen Owes His Wife Money
Wilco – “Tired of Taking it Out On You”